If only I had thought to play Boots Randolph’s Yakety Sax song the other night when the thunderstorms passed through Slumber Falls camp, the amusement of the moment would have increased as we attempted to round up the seven cats and other animals into pet carriers and kennels in case we had to move them to a secured location for the tornado warnings. Cat round-ups in the midst of a hail storm where it seems like giants are striking baseball bats on our metal roof added to the chaos. In the end we got most of them and Benjamin who slept through all of it in the downstairs bathroom where they hunkered down for a few hours and Benjamin slept to the sounds of cacophony of caterwauling. I was able to find a bit of time to even harvest rain for the rain barrels to water some carnivorous plants that I am growing for Eco Camp.
Despite some of the downed limbs and ball moss on the property, Slumber Falls Camp was in desperate need of rain. I really did not know how much it needed it until the next morning. As with many things in life, gradual changes lessen the extremes from start to finish. This rain showed how dry the plants were as they had darkened their green color, plants had perked up, and there was an overall cleanliness in the atmosphere that was teeming with life and energy.
I also took advantage of having the office to myself for the day. I was able to crank out a lot of work and tasks that were placed on the back burner the past few months. Sorting through emails, I noticed an increase in families wanting to know more information about camp and Slumber Falls compared to previous years. There seems to be a genuine interest and parents connecting their kids to outdoor opportunities to learn and grow. Perhaps being cooped up for the past year and having limited option for entertainment and social engagement is playing a role. But I also think that this past year has shown us how important relationships are. While online relationships can be strong and enriching, not everyone understands how to engage virtual conversations to yield those results or choose not to for safety concerns (i.e. catfishing). Developing healthy relationships that are genuine, care for your well-being, and supportive of who you are, your life goals, beliefs, and passions, are critical for our mental health and development.
The conversations that I have had with some of our directors, counselors, and summer staff have energized me for this summer’s camping season. The games, arts and crafts, evening activities, talent shows and skit nights, swimming and sports, and a slew of other activities promise to be fun, full of laughter, and the perfect stage for relationship building with God, creation, and others. We have a saying at Slumber Falls, “Camp for a Week, Friends for Life.”
While camps take on a holy chaos at times that can seem like herding cats in a hail storm, the aftereffect is full of life and transformation that campers will carry for the rest of their lives. Our camps are small compared to many of the larger commercial camps that often make the news, but from our start, that was intentional so that our campers have better experiences, more guidance, and opportunities to develop their unique skill sets and passions. We have a better than 2 to 1 ratio of campers to staff (state ratio is 10 to 1). We are camper centric and strive to be one of the greatest experiences that children and youth will have in the summer.
Our spaces are limited again this summer, so if you know of a young person that could benefit from a powerful summer camp experience or you could benefit from them being away, go to slumberfalls.org and sign your child up for one of the traditional or specialty camps. Nature is good for the soul! We are offering a worry-free camper registration again this summer in case your circumstances change up to two weeks before camp.
If you have questions regarding camp, please do not hesitate to call the Camp office. If you know of a child or their family that might be struggling financially, please let us know so we can find ways to help them get a camp experience. If you want to support a camper, please consider giving to our camp scholarship fund. We are receiving many more requests this summer than in prior years for camp scholarships.
Slumber Falls Camp is a gem for the church and a beacon of hope and life. I cannot wait to see many of your faces this summer, chat with you, and hear the stories of how your journey has shaped since the last time we were together. Wherever you are and whatever you do may you be a reflection of God’s light and love in this world.